A visit to New York City is like a first date. Your heart is a flutter with possibilities, but you’re scared at the same time. Having only been to New York twice for a total of 18 days, I realize I’m not educated enough to write the definitive guide to the city, but my best day ever was spent in New York.
There have been a few great days here and there of course. My wedding day was exciting. Christmas Eve in Paris at La Madeleine Cathedral was special. Eating a sandwich in Sandwich, UK was memorable. But they are not New York, New York.
My husband and I stayed at the Carleton on Madison Avenue, a posh, recently renovated hotel, in a room with a view to the street. We slept in, on our 800 threat-count sheets. We drank coffee and ate Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, while reading the complimentary New York Post. We had leisurely hot showers and got ready for a wonderful day in the city that never sleeps.
We arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theatre mid-morning in an attempt to get tickets for the David Letterman show that night. We stood in line for a few minutes before we were ushered inside for the interview. They asked us a few questions, to see if we were suitable to sit in the audience. They said if we got tickets they would call my cellphone.
We went up to 112th Street at Broadway to Tom’s Diner, famous as “Monk’s” from the television program “Seinfeld”. We ate our BLTs for lunch and by noon, I was quite sure the day couldn’t get any better. But then my cellphone rang. We had David Letterman tickets. I gave my husband a high-five, and then a low five.
We decided to cut through Central Park on the way back to the theatre, as it was a balmy 22 degrees Celsius, in January. People were wearing shorts and t-shirts and playing Frisbee on the grass. As we strolled through the park, people were greeting one another with a smile and a hello, and a skywriter began the long process of writing a message for all New Yorkers in the bright blue sky.
When we arrived back at the theatre we were ushered inside and sat in the front row. The excitement was palpable, and David Letterman was on his A-game. It didn’t matter who his guests were (Matt Lauer, Artie Lange, Augustana), as it was about the experience.
The show wrapped up around 6:30pm, which gave us just enough time to get to the Bernard B. Jacobs theatre for Martin Short’s comedy musical, “Fame Becomes Me”. The sights and sounds of Short’s autobiographical Broadway show enthralled all, and we were forever changed.
We finished off the day down with a few pints in Greenwich Village at McSorley’s Old Ale House ($1 for a pint) where we joyously recounted our day. And what a day it was. Indeed, the best day ever.